Malaysian factories accused of ‘forced labour’ make rubber gloves for Britain’s health service

Britain is launching an investigation into medical gloves used by its health service after reports of forced labour, forced overtime, debt bondage, withheld wages and passport confiscation in Malaysian factories where they were made.
“In line with the government’s policy and leadership on modern slavery, we take any allegations of this kind incredibly seriously,” said a spokeswoman for Britain’s health department, adding that the issue would investigated “as a…

New Zealand police charge man with murder of British backpacker Grace Millane

A 26-year-old man will be charged with the murder of the missing British backpacker Grace Millane, New Zealand police have said.
Millane, 22, disappeared a week ago. Police said the 26-year-old man would appear at Auckland district court on Monday morning.
Earlier on Saturday, New Zealand police said they were treating Millane’s disappearance as a murder inquiry. “Grace is no longer alive; this is now a murder investigation,” said Detective Inspector Scott Beard of Auckland…

Separatists who killed at least 16 demand Indonesia negotiate over Papuan independence

Rebels in Indonesia’s Papua province have demanded that the government hold negotiations on their territory’s self-determination and warned of more attacks following a raid on a construction site that left at least 16 dead.
An insurgency has simmered in Papua since the early 1960s, when Indonesia annexed the region that was a former Dutch colony. It was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a UN-sponsored ballot that was widely regarded as a sham. Sebby Sambom,…

Muslims march to demand protection of privileges in capital of multi-ethnic Malaysia

Tens of thousands of banner-waving Muslims dressed in white rallied in the Malaysian capital on Saturday demanding protection of their rights, at a time of growing racial tensions in the multi-ethnic country.
The event was billed as a celebration of the refusal by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government to ratify a UN convention against racial discrimination last month.
Big crowds gathered in downtown Kuala Lumpur, chanting “God is great” and waving banners that read…

Sri Lankan President Sirisena banned from sacking parliament until court decides on its legality

Sri Lanka’s highest court Friday banned President Maithripala Sirisena from sacking the legislature until it decides on the legality of his move last month to call snap elections.
The Supreme Court concluded hearing 10 petitions against Sirisena’s move as part of a bitter power struggle with his erstwhile prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but reserved judgment for an unspecified date.
The courts reopen on Monday.
Sirisena plunged the country into crisis on October 26 when he…

Cambodian government critic held in Thailand over sex-trafficking documentary, says his wife

A Cambodian labour activist faces deportation home from Thailand over his role in making a sex-trafficking documentary that angered the Southeast Asian nation’s government, which dismissed it as fake, his wife said on Friday.
The ruling party of Prime Minister Hun Sen has launched a crackdown on those it says are critics of the government, including human rights advocates and opposition politicians.
Rath Rott Mony, 47, was arrested in Bangkok on Friday as he attempted to travel to the…